RALEIGH, N.C. (WNCN) – Driving from Raleigh to Wake Forest could become quicker. The NCDOT has a plan to turn an approximately 10-mile stretch of Capital Boulevard, from I-540 to Purnell/Harris Roads, into a freeway. 

The North Carolina Department of Transportation said more than 400 people attended a virtual meeting Thursday evening to ask questions and give their input.

NCDOT said the upgrades will reduce travel time and congestion. There will be a new posted speed limit of 65 mph, but the stretch will be designed for 70 mph, according to NCDOT.

There will be four interchanges to get onto the highway. Some neighbors in the meeting said their access to US-1 will be cut off, but transportation officials on the meeting said cutting off traffic from side roads is necessary to increase traffic flow.

Jessie Costen of Raleigh said the most exciting part of the plan is no more traffic lights.

“Traffic moves pretty well, but the lights they’ll just get really long long lines,” Costen said. “It takes two or three times to sit through each cycle before you can go on your way.”

The project has four phases. The first is the southernmost stretch from I-540 to Durant Road. That phase of construction is set to start in October 2024.

“There will be impacts during construction, but there will be service roads that we also want input on to provide access to those businesses,” NCDOT spokesperson Marty Homan said.

Between 32,000 and 65,000 vehicles travel the stretch of Capital Boulevard every day, a number that’s expected to increase to 44,000 to 75,000 vehicles per day in 2040, according to NCDOT.

NCDOT is looking for input on design options including at Gresham Lake Road and at Burlington Mills. We can say, You can submit comments through January 7th and learn more about the project here.

The estimated cost of the project is $747.7 million.